Mary Kelly (c.1758-1820)

Mary Kelly was a convict transported for seven years per the Lady Penrhyn (1788). She is one of the 17 First Fleeters with memorials buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta and is closely associated with the early history of Sydney suburb Kellyville. She married fellow St. John’s First Fleeter Humphrey Evans and, though he came to the colony as a free man and she came here as a convict, she lies in a marked grave while the location of his burial plot in the cemetery is unknown.


  • Alias: Sophia Owen (confirmed alias in an earlier London-based crime) see link and link
  • Alias: Frances Owen (confirmed alias in an earlier London-based crime) see link
  • Colloquial: “Polly” (‘Polly’ is a colloquial name for ‘mistress’ or ‘prostitute.’ ‘Molly’ is a male, effeminate, homosexual prostitute, hence the associated early 18th-century to late 19th-century term ‘Molly Houses.’
  • Alias: Mary Dykes | Mary Dicks | Mary Dix
  • Married name: Mary Evans
  • Married name: Mary Kelly
  • Alternate: Margaret Kelly


  • Born: c.1758
  • Tried and convicted at the Old Bailey: 26 April 1786
  • Arrived at Botany Bay per Lady Penrhyn: 20 January 1788
  • Arrived at Port Jackson per Lady Penrhyn: 26 January 1788
  • Married fellow First Fleeter Humphrey Evans: 12 April 1793
  • Returned to England: 1797
  • Arrived at Port Jackson per Rolla: 12 May 1803
  • Married Hugh Kelly: 14 August 1808
  • Died: 10 November 1820
  • Buried: 11 November 1820 at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

Burial Location

  • Section 1, Row L, No.4 at St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta


  • Spouse of Humphrey Evans (12 April 1793 – 1 August 1805)
  • Spouse of Hugh Kelly (14 August 1808 – 10 November 1820)


  • Stay maker
  • Settler’s wife
  • Inn-keeper’s wife


Mary Kelly: The First Lady of Kellyville (2016)

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Abstract: We tune into Mary Kelly’s life story not at the very beginning but on the night of 11 April 1786 in London’s infamous ‘Rosemary Lane’ neighbourhood. There, the jingly-jangly sound of loose coins saw her convicted of grand larceny and transported for seven years on the First Fleet’s Lady Penrhyn; a ship notoriously described as containing the most “Abandon’d Prostitutes.” The story then takes us all the way to “There and Nowhere” – the middle of nowhere that ended up right in the middle of the action during the Castle Hill convict uprising of 1804. Ultimately, There and Nowhere was renamed Kellyville, in honour of Mary’s convict servant and second husband Hugh Kelly, making this formerly not-so-ladylike Lady of the Penrhyn, the First Lady of Kellyville. more>>




  • Judith Dunn, The Parramatta Cemeteries: St. John’s, (Parramatta, NSW: Parramatta and District Historical Society, 1991)
  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet, (Sydney: Library of Australian History, 1989)
  • polly‘ and ‘molly‘ in Jonathan Green, Green’s Dictionary of Slang, (2017) accessed online 10 March 2017
  • Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2), 26 April 1786, trial of MARY DYKES ELIZABETH HEBERT (t17860426-40), accessed 3 April 2016
  • Parish Burial Records, Textual Records, St. John’s Anglican Church Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.


# First Fleet

# Convict

# Trial Place: Old Bailey

# Ship: Lady Penrhyn (1788)

# Ship: Rolla (1803)

# Burial year: 1820

# Grave: marked